5 minute fiction-Z

November 1, 2009

The older boy put his back into the lifting of the groceries, trying to keep pace with his mother. She looked once or twice as she moved hurriedly, almost dragging the younger child along as he, too, tried to keep pace. “Hurry the fuck UP.” She said to the boy. His brother looked up at the woman as she squeezed his tiny hand. He knew better than to complain about how tightly she was holding it.

She said things like that to her kids a lot. The boy sniffed as he hefted the bags once more. He strained to carry the bags. He was thin, and just about 8 years old. The other boy was maybe three. She dragged him with her left hand.  She ran the fingers of her right hand through her natty, dirty blonde hair.

The oldest one caught up with her at the apartment door. He was too young to be thankful for the fact that they lived on the first floor, meaning he didn’t have to carry the bags up a flight of stairs. He continued to hold them as she turned the key. She looked straight ahead and said nothing more to him, and opened the door.

“Hello.” The thing said to her. She stared, focusing on it. It looked solidly at her, fixing her with its stare.

“I’d like to talk to you.”

Yes, I know the walls look funky. I was rushing it. Now hush.

It hung in the air, looking right back at her as she stared at it, wide eyed with terror.

It floated in mid-air. It had a round head, practically a perfect sphere, but also not, like it had been worn down in places. It had large black spots for eyes, and…yes, she thought…a flower sticking out of the top of the head. And a sheet for a body, she thought, though she was not cognitive of the fact that she couldn’t move. She stood there stiff, staring at it. Her face was caught in the expression she had when she first laid eyes on it. This was not due to anything done by the creature. She was terrified.

“Your children won’t hear us. I’ve removed us from time.”

Her bottom lip shook just slightly, her eyes wide.

“You hurt your children. You have no idea how how much you hurt them. Why?”

It paused a few moments and said, “Try not to scream.”

“I-I…” She paused. She looked into the dark eyes of the creature. She heaved, covering her face with her hands as she sobbed brokenly. “I don’t know.” She finally answered. It seemed to nod and then, it said, in its almost feminine voice, “Let me show you something.”

She saw herself sitting on the sofa. Her youngest son was curled up by her on the sofa. She was holding some kind of book. Her older son was sitting up on the floor. He was holding up a big piece of paper. He said “Mom! I drew a picture from the story you’re reading us.” And she was smiling.

“He asked you to buy him paper at the store, and you said ‘no, it’s too expensive.’ But I know you just can’t wait to try on the earrings you bought, or to put that dye in your hair.” It suddenly had an edge in its voice.

The thing seemed to be glaring at her now. “Change. Don’t make me make you change. You wouldn’t like it.”

The door shut behind her. “Mom? Mom?” her oldest son said. Her younger son was going “Mommy? Mommy?”.

“Mom? Are you okay?”

She stood there in the apartment, her children staring up at her. Her face was wet from the tears she hadn’t even realized she’d been crying.

“Babies, help mommy put the groceries away. Then we’ll sit down and I’ll read a book to you or something, okay?” The boys looked up at their mother, smiling at the idea of being read a story. The younger child hugged his mom’s leg as he watched his brother carry the groceries into the kitchen.

“Now, what do you want me to read?” She said lightly, looking down at the four year old.


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